Last week, Gen-Z, the open systems interconnect solution backed by AMD, Broadcom, Dell, Micron, and more, announced that they will be folding and will also be absorbed into competitor Compute Express Link (CXL). And NVIDIA has hit yet another roadblock in its acquisition of ARM. We discuss these stories and more in this week’s Rundown!
Fast computers keep getting faster, and we’re officially in the exascale era. According to the TOP500 supercomputer annual rankings, Japaense Fugaku held on to the top spot for the second year in a row. The 442 petaflop/second benchmark score was over 3 times faster than the closest competitor. However, Fugaku was able to increase the performance in further-reduced precision tests, like the ones used for AI and Machine Learning, earning a score of just over 1,000 petaflops/second, which is an exaflop. The computers in places 2-9 didn’t change, with only the Azure-based Voyager EUS2 system cracking tenth place.
FBI Email Blasts Hoax Alerts | 5:55
If you got an email last week from the FBI about a botnet on your forehead, you might realize it was a hoax. But several others got emails that weren’t so apparent. A hacker going by the handle Pompompurin was able to gain access to the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) through a vulnerable one-time passcode exchange. Pompompurin was able to use LEEP to send a massive amount of emails with headers showing they came from legitimate FBI servers. The FBI quickly issued a statement denouncing the emails and assuring users they would patch the hole.
Backblaze is a Public Company | 10:16
Last week, backup giant Backblaze debuted on the NASDAQ exchange with their IPO. In a world of unicorns, Backblaze is a different story. Their second quarter sales topped $16 million and the total amount raised in the IPO was around $100 million. Investors have been hot on the stock, with the initial offering price of around $16 rising as high as $28/share in trading on Monday.
Read More: Backblaze is now a Public Company
We received an advance briefing about Nvidia’s appearance at Supercomputing 21 focused on networking hardware. Their Quantum-2 platform is focused on 400 Gb InfiniBand networking, with a switch, ConnectX-7 NIC, and BlueField-3 data processing unit. Although we don’t hear much about InfiniBand, Nvidia’s acquisition of Mellanox made them the key provider of this key HPC technology. And this combination of switch and DPU promises three times the performance over the Quantum-1.
StorONE Updates | 17:43
StorONE is the latest storage company pivoting to the backup market. They just announced a backup storage offering called S1:Backup that works with popular software like Veeam, Commvault, and Rubrik and provides immutability against ransomware and rapid recovery to flash.
CXL Merging with Gen-Z | 22:26
We like to talk about mergers here on the Rundown, usually between companies that want to get ahead in the industry. Rarely do we see mergers between consortiums that define how an industry operates. Last week saw a huge agreement between groups trying to navigate the post-PCIe world. Gen-Z, the open systems interconnect solution backed by AMD, Broadcom, Dell, Micron, and more, announced that they will be folding and will also be absorbed into competitor Compute Express Link (CXL). CXL is backed by Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco as well as AMD and Dell. Both Gen-Z and CXL focus on low latency memory sharing protocols. The two parties have issues a Letter of Intent that would see the Gen-Z assets picked up by CXL and allowing the two to collaborate on future releases.
If you’re following the saga of the NVIDIA acquisition of ARM you probably know that there have been several roadblocks so far. But the latest roadblock is wearing a bobby hat and looks to be a pretty significant one. The UK has announced an in-depth investigation into the deal on the grounds of national security. The UK Secretary of State released a statement that ARM technology is critical for national security, which makes ensuring accessibility to the IP of ARM crucuial as well. This whole discussion still boils down to the ARM processor being ubiquitous in so many devices used by companies that are competitors to NVIDIA. With controlling interest in the technology NVIDIA could raise prices or restrict access to features despite their assurances that something like that wouldn’t happen. Stephen, you’ve been very bearish on this deal since the start.
The Week Ahead | 43:22
Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S next week, we will not be publishing a Rundown. Please tune back in on Wednesday, December 1 for the next episode of the Gestalt IT Rundown!
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